Symptoms of glaucoma

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Symptoms of glaucoma


Open angle glaucoma, which is the most frequent type, develops stealthily and without symptoms: visual impairment appears later on and is sometimes accompanied by eye pain or headaches. The visual field diminishes progressively. The central vison becomes smaller. 
The tell-tale symptom of advanced glaucoma is visual impairment: firstly the peripheral vision as the centre of the visual field is initially unaffected. If left untreated, this may lead to irreversible visual impairment, even blindness .
Glaucoma diagnosis
Diagnosis is often made during an vision test for some other reason (short-sightedness, presbyopia, etc.). It may also be diagnosed at follow-up examinations of a person with predisposing factors of glaucoma, such as diabetes or a family history.
An ophthalmologist will confirm the glaucoma diagnosis by means of a clinical test, with additional tests :
  • Intra-ocular pressure is measured using a tonometer
  • The condition of the optic nerve head and optic fibres is inspected by means of dilated-pupil examination, or by optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Examination of the angle to be confirmed as open or closed and to see if there is any obstruction to aqueous humour drainage
  • Assessment of visual field, which shows the extent of optic nerve lesions and their progression


Also, it exists different ways to treat glaucoma.



(1) La Revue du Praticien Médecine Générale, Volume 32, no. 998, March 2018.
(2) French Association of Qualified Ophthalmologists, Ophthalmology, Elsevier Masson, 2017.
(3) Ameli, Glaucome [online]. Available at:
(4) Inserm, Glaucome [online]. Available at: